A felony is more serious offense than misdemeanor, and it can carry very serious penalties. Felony charges include criminal charges such as aggravated drug charges, assault, sexual assault, armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. For instance, if convicted of a felony related to a sexual offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender, or if convicted of murder, you could face a maximum of life imprisonment or death.
The state of Georgia justice system does not have classification of felonies defined by a lettering or numbering system. Felonies are just separated from misdemeanors by in that felonies hold a punishments exceeding twelve years. In Georgia the following crimes are considered felonies:
(1) Murder: punishable by a life sentence or the death penalty.
(2) Manslaughter: punishable by a life sentence of the death penalty.
(3) Drug Related Crimes: punishable by up to 30 years as determined by the quantity of drugs in possession and intent of trafficking. Fines for this crime do not exceed $1 million dollars.
(4) Rape: punishable by sentence of 25 to life depending on extremity of crime and age of victim.
(5) Child Molestation: punishable by a sentence of 5 years to 25 years.
(6) Theft: punishable by sentence of 1 to 25 years depending on value of stolen materials and if a deadly weapon was used in crime.
(7) Robbery: punishable by sentence of 1 to 25 years depending on value of stolen materials and if a deadly weapon was used in crime.
(8) Aggravated Assault: punishable by sentence of one to 20 years.
(9) Vehicular manslaughter: punishable by sentence of three to 15 years.
(10) Obstruction of justice: punishable by sentence of one to five years.
(11) Shoplifting (beyond $500 value): punishable by one to five years.
(12) DUI.: punishable by various sentences determined at time of charge based on number of previous D.U.I. convictions.
Georgia Felony Expungement
Georgia has their own version of the legislation referred to as the First Offenders Act. With this legislation a first time offender may have their criminal record expunged or wiped clean after serving the full extent of sentence. However, the accused must complete the entire sentence without acquiring new charges. For less serious convictions the accused may receive a sentence of probation for a maximum of up to five years. For serious crimes the accused even though this is their first offense will receive a prison sentence based on the severity of their crimes.
This First Offenders Act does not include the following crimes:
(1) Serious Violent Crimes (i.e. Murder)
(2) Sexual Offenses
(3) Providing obscene or pornographic materials to a minor by use of electronic mediums.
(4) Sexual exploitation of a child or minor
(5) Child exploitation in any form
(6) Pornography distributed via computer or computer network. This also includes other sexual cyber crimes.
With the exception of these crimes once the convicted serve their entire sentence they can under this First Offender’s Act file for expungement of their criminal record. This does not guarantee that employment opportunities are not limited. For instance, if their crimes were against the elderly they cannot become employed where they are the primary care giver of any elderly person. If their crime involved computers they are not allowed to become employed where they are in control of a computer network or have access to that network. If the crime involved drugs they are not allowed to become an employee of a pharmaceutical company. Lastly if the crime for which they were convicted included firearms they are not allowed to possess firearms at any time during the rest of their life. This excludes them from become law enforcement officers.